Students in the School of Physical share a passion for helping others maximize their health and wellness. Meet some of tomorrow's leaders and learn what they love most about Western.
Hometown: Penetanguishene, ON
Previous degree: Honours BA Kinesiology and Physical Education, Wilfrid Laurier, University (2014)
Post grad school plans: Heading back to my rugby roots and getting involved in a team wherever I end up. Hopefully a little travelling before then, but ultimately small-town Ontario is where I’m headed.
Why I chose Western: It was my dream to be in Western PT all through university. The small class size, amazing profs and opportunities we’re given as students that really drew me here.
Favourite Western memory so far: O-Week with my new PT family! What an amazing bonding experience with the people I get to hang out with all day, every day
Best thing about being a student at Western: I still get to wear my Laurier purple, but all kidding aside, I have a Western PT family, and that’s pretty amzing
Advice to students considering Physical Therapy: Once you get in, don’t take yourself too seriously. Remember, PT is equal parts knowledge, sociability and collaboration!
Hometown: Kelowna, BC
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Human Kinetics, University of British-Columbia—Okanagan (2014)
Post Grad Plans: Begin my physiotherapy career either in a private clinic or hospital.
Why I chose Western: Because of the school's great reputation across Canada. Western also provided me with the opportunity to live in a part of the country I've never had the chance to visit.
Favorite memory so far: Orientation week with all the 1st and 2nd year physiotherapy students.
Best thing about being a student at Western: School spirit is EVERYWHERE. Go Mustangs!
Advice for students considering Physical Therapy: Volunteer or work with as many physiotherapists before applying to grad school to gain a better understanding of the career ahead of you.
Hometown: Waterloo, Ontario
Previous Degree: Honours Bachelor of Science with Specialization in Biology, Minor in Psychology, Western University (2011)
Post-Grad School Plans: I plan to work in an out-patient clinic or community care physiotherapy before pursuing a post-doctoral fellowship and, ultimately, potentially pursuing a career as a physiotherapy professor. Having clinical physiotherapy training will help to make my research unique and elevate its potential for providing thoughtful, novel insights. Clinical training will also allow me to practice the knowledge gained from my research in a sensitive, empathetic approach to exercise prescription.
Why I Chose Western: Western University is the only university in Ontario that offers a combined Master of Physical Therapy / PhD program. This unique program design allows me to understand how to make the needs of the healthcare world (physiotherapists) meet the needs of academic research from the ground up. Insights gained from my research will interface between clinical practice and research, and may enable healthcare professionals to more tactfully shape exercise presentation to older adults, to improve or maintain well-being.
Favourite Western Memory So Far: The people in my class are phenomenal. The class schedule and workload is intense from the start. Everyone has been so helpful in sharing study guides, answering questions, and overall encouragement. It is such a relief to have a group of people who are with you along the way - slugging through stress and exams, and celebrating the milestones!
Best Thing about Being a Student at Western: Western in a phenomenal university. The caliber of professors we have here is amazing, in terms of clinical and teaching experience. We have even had professors offer extra lab practice on weekends and holidays. The professors and support staff who run the physiotherapy program at Western sincerely want to see the students be successful, and that is felt throughout the school.
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Previous degree: Bachelors in Life Sciences, University of Toronto (2011)
Post graduation plans: I would like to explore the field of neuro-rehabilitation, and help develop an exercise program catering to this population in my community. I have other interests like pediatrics and geriatrics as well, so I'm hoping to learn more about these fields through my clinical placements.
Why I chose Western: I volunteered with two physical therapists who had graduated from Western PT and have their own clinic. They work as clinical educators as well. Their success really inspired me to pursue my clinical Master’s here.
Favourite Western memory so far: Getting my nametag. Made it official!
Best thing about being a student at Western: I was admitted to this program during the first week of classes. Imagine that? To those that don’t get in on the first round, there is still hope. Everyone from the administrative staff, to faculty advisors, to professors and classmates were so helpful in getting me up to speed on the program. They are all there to help me succeed, which is very reassuring.
Advice to students considering Physical Therapy: Definitely do it. It has been an immensely rewarding experience so far.
Hometown: Sudbury, ON
Previous Degree: Honours Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Kinesiology, Laurentian University (2013)
Post Grad Plans: Likely a combination of continuing with part-time research studies and practicing in the clinical setting. I love orthopedics, but consider all settings of PT very relevant. People will come to clinic with a variety of issues – we treat people, not settings!
Why I chose Western: Western has an excellent reputation at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. I had known a few people whom had been through Western’s PT program and I had heard really great things! I had heard many great things about how dedicated the professors are in the School. I also liked the way that the program is structured. It is cased based courses are organized by settings of practice (clinics, rehabilitation, acute care), rather than topic (orthopedic, neurology, and cardiorespiratory). To me, this was more applicable to the working world after graduation.
Favorite memory so far: Hard to choose one – you become so close with your class. We are basically family! I’ll never forget the good times we had in first year during our Friday afternoon “class” at the Spoke unwinding from a long week, or the sprints to the Ping-Pong table in between classes to get a few games in.
Best thing about being a student at Western: For me, it is a combination of the school spirit on campus and quality of the professors in the classroom. I come from a small town and very small University. I wasn’t sure how the transition to a bigger city and how life at Western would treat me. But, you become so close with your classmates, the faculty, and the staff. The adjustment has been easy and I love it. The small classroom, interactive professors, and overall “family” feel is what gets me!
Advice for students considering Physical Therapy: This profession is growing – and it is becoming more competitive each year. Keep your grades up and try to have some volunteer experience.
Hometown: Burlington, ON
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Western University (2013)
Post grad school plans: My big dream is to open up a an outpatient clinic that specializes in rehabilitation for people who have suffered neurological damage such as acquired brain injuries (ABI), spinal cord injuries (SCI), neurodegenerative diseases, strokes etc., as well as working with an orthopedic population. I have a passion for both MSK orthopedics and neuro-rehabilitation; my goal would be to open a specialized clinic that encompasses both realms.
Why I chose Western: Purple and Proud! Western has been my home away from home for the past 6 years and I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else. I love the western community and all that both the school and the city of London have to offer. After doing some research on the other Ontario MPT programs, I was attracted to Western’s MPT program due to its smaller class sizes. This allows for more one-on-one time with instructors. The Western MPT program is also closely linked with LHSC University Hospital, Victoria Hospital and St Joseph’s Parkwood Hospital providing the students at Western with excellent placement opportunities with leaders in the physiotherapy fields. I wasn’t exactly sure which stream of physical therapy I wanted to get into when first entering the program, and Western has proven to have excellent mentors in Orthopedics, Neuro-rehabilitation and Acute Care practices. If you want an amazing education and learn from some of the most brilliant minds, Western University is the place to be.
Favourite Western memory so far: Going to the homecoming football game every year rain or shine covered in purple paint and Western gear; attending Wednesday night sing-alongs with the famous Rick McGhie at the spoke; walking through campus on beautiful sunny days or colourful autumn days and appreciating the beauty of campus; and meeting new life-long friends that have helped shape who I am today.
Best thing about being a student at Western: Western is purple and proud, the school spirit at Western is amazing. There are so many events going on throughout the year around campus for students to be involved in. Students can be involved in numerous clubs, intermural activities and volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Western is a large campus, there is always something fun and exciting going on for you to enjoy.
Advice to students considering Physical Therapy: Apply Now! Come to Western! Do you love anatomy? Do you love the human body, muscles, brain, nerves and bones? Do you enjoy physical activity? Do you love being a people person and helping others? Then physiotherapy is the right fit for you. Being a part of this profession and helping others better themselves in their own lives is a truly rewarding experience. Starting my career through the Western MPT program may be one of the best choices I have ever made and I am excited for the future ahead of me.
Hometown: Oshawa, ON
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Health Sciences – Kinesiology, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (2013)
Why I chose Western: I originally chose Western University because it is well known for its orthopedic focus in Physiotherapy. During my studies at Western I have had the opportunity to receive a placement working in a Rehabilitation hospital with individuals that have a spinal cord injury. This was a great experience and it broadened my appreciation of different applications of physiotherapy outside of physiotherapy clinic.
Favourite Western memory so far: My first placement working in a rehabilitation hospital with individuals that have a spinal cord injury was amazing. This placement was very rewarding and has been my favourite memory during my stay at Western.
Best thing about being a student at Western: Physiotherapy at Western has been exciting and challenging. As a husband and father of two I find myself very short on time, but proud to explain to friends and family that I will be a physiotherapist. The best thing about being at Western is we are always taught each aspect of physiotherapy from individuals who have become masters of their field and for this reason I feel I will be prepared for any physiotherapy setting, both academically and professionally. Another aspect of Western physiotherapy is the amount of time you spend with your fellow classmates. You spend a great deal of time and essentially every class with the majority of your peers. This creates a close group, great friendships, and promotes an unparalleled learning environment.
Advice to students considering Physical Therapy: My advice to any student considering physiotherapy is to embrace every opportunity to talk to people who have been treated by a physiotherapist. I’ve discovered that each individual had success in treatment and considered their physiotherapist knowledgeable, competent, professional, and (perhaps most importantly) a healthcare professional that listens.
Hometown: Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia
Previous degree: Bachelor of Kinesiology, Acadia University (2013)
Post grad school plans: Honestly, no idea! There are so many different avenues within physiotherapy that you can focus in on. I’m trying to keep an open mind to all the potential opportunities that await post grad!
Why I chose Western: I had heard only great things about the school, as well as the physiotherapy program! Plus when I came to visit London for the first time prior to deciding on a school, I loved the city! It’s a busy place with a lot going on, but has all the perks of the small town life I’m used to!
Favourite Western memory so far: I absolutely loved orientation week during my first and second year. Getting to meet all of my classmates outside of school during that week in first year was so much fun, that in my second year I decided to organize the orientation events for the incoming students. It’s a busy 2 years of school, but I think it’s so important to take the time to get to know your fellow classmates/future associates outside of the classroom!
Best thing about being a student at Western: The physiotherapy program at Western is small in comparison to some of the other schools, which I really liked. On top of that, we’re lucky enough to have multiple working clinicians come in to the school and teach a variety of our classes. It’s nice to take what we’re learning in school and connect it to real life experiences.
Advice to students considering Physical Therapy: Definitely apply! I initially was a bit nervous about whether it was the right program for me, but I haven’t looked back sense. If you love working with people, and you’re interested in a healthcare profession that is very interactive, physiotherapy is definitely a great option!
Hometown: Calgary, AB.
Previous Degree: Bachelor of Science and Exercise and Health Physiology, University of Calgary (2013)
Post grad school plans: I plan to move back West to either Calgary or Victoria, where I will practice physiotherapy at a running injury or sports clinic, and enjoy the outdoors with running, skiing and hiking. I also plan to get a dog and a cat!
Why I chose Western: I chose Western because of the school spirit, because it was highly recommended from some of my friends, and because it has a great cross-country running/track program. I also wanted to experience life in Ontario because I have lived most of my life in Calgary.
Favorite Western memory: I am really grateful for the varsity experience as a Western Mustang. It has been the highlight of my time at Western. Other highlights include PT potlucks and get-togethers!
Best thing about being a student at Western: The best thing about being a student at Western is definitely the great people I have meet in my class. I also like the school pride and nice facilities such as the fitness center and the Ivey building (which fortunately is right beside Elborn college).
Advice to students considering PT: Grad school is a TON of work, but there is lots of support along the way. Try to make the best of your school experience by getting involved in extracurricular activities, and maintain your health with exercise and sleep (not just studying!). My impression of physiotherapy after a year in the program is that it seems like a great career with lots of variety and job satisfaction!